Volusia County Council votes in favor of oceanfront parking lot 

Beachgoers in Volusia County will soon have more parking options in Daytona Beach Shores despite some opposition.

In a 6-to-1 vote, the county council gave the go-ahead to an upgrade project at Dahlia Avenue Park, off A-1-A, in Daytona Beach Shores.

The upgrade would include merging the existing parking spots and the vacant lot next to it which is owned by the county.

All council members voted in favor of the $990,000 project, except for new Volusia County Chair Jeff Brower who raised concerns.

"I’m wondering if this is the best expenditure of money for a parking lot?" He asked fellow council members. He argued the oceanfront lot could be used instead as a cash source for the county. 

"It could go to development and go back on the tax roll and actually be a revenue source and could be income," he said. He expressed worry the new lot could affect beach parking down the road.

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"That’s my concern is that we put up a parking lot over some of the valuable property in Volusia County, and the next step is we’re going to remove access to the beach there," he said.

Councilmember Ben Johnson said he’s against taking away beach parking, but he argues the new parking lot will give visitors better access, especially when lifeguards have to force cars out.

"We also have times on that beach when the beach is closed because of high tides and other issues so basically, if you don’t have a place to put your people, we’re making that a private beach for the people who just live there," he said.

The vacant lot was purchased by the county a few years ago after the motel that used to sit on it was demolished.

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